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where the natural resources necessary WATER to operate to our standards were most The second major location criterion readily available, and available in a manner was water resources. Not just the water with the least potential adverse impact on necessary to produce chicken, but also the the environment. Environmental concern effect of that production on other water with issues such as local production and resources in the area. Like any agricultural reducing one’s carbon footprint hadn’t operation, production of chickens requires really taken hold in 1998, but even then a substantial amount of water, not only for we believed in operating in the most drinking, but also for production of the sustainable way possible and with a keen feed grains necessary to raise the chickens eye to preserving natural resources. and also in the processing operation itself. We determined that the best location was The Midwestern states are located on the in an area where no other poultry company greatest natural underground aquifer in had chosen to operate—in the heart of the the world, and Nebraska is in the heart of Midwest. Why? The vast majority of feed it. No water resource is unlimited, but the grains produced in this country are produced Ogallala aquifer is massive, and the state of in the Midwest, and corn and soybeans are Nebraska has been cautious and proactive the dominant feed sources for chickens. in protecting its greatest resource. Since every pound of chicken in a package We could be assured not only of access takes between two and three pounds of to almost unlimited water resources, but corn and soybeans to produce, the math also that our use would not adversely is simple: It takes far fewer non-renewable affect any other necessary use or, more our principles and processes, and we welcome resources to transport packaged chicken importantly, the sustainability of the those developments. We appreciate the than it does grain. Our chickens are raised resource in general. Our facilities are challenge to stay ahead of the pack, a challenge in barns and processed in facilities that were located far from any surface water, and that drives us to get better and better; it does literally built in corn and soybean fields. If our operations pose no threat or risk not, and never will, tempt us to cut corners or you are concerned about the issue of carbon to any water resource. We have seen settle for anything less than the best. footprint, ask the producer of the chicken the effect of agricultural operations in you buy where the grain on which they were general, and of the poultry industry LOCATION raised came from. Transporting packaged specifically, in polluting rivers, bays, and Our first issue was where to locate our chicken has a significantly lesser adverse other water resources, particularly in the operations. The easiest choices were to impact on the environment than transporting east and southeast. We have seen what go where everyone else was: the broiler grain. Being located at the geographical happens when an industry puts pressure belt in the deep south, the eastern center of the country, and literally on top of on extremely limited water resources, shore, and the West Coast. After all, the its primary distribution corridor, Interstate particularly on the West Coast. From an industry labor and influence were well 80, also allows us to serve markets in a variety environmental perspective, there is no established in those areas. Instead, we of locations with the least possible aggregate better place for a chicken producer to be took a much broader view, opting to locate travel. located than the heart of the Midwest. Café Tecumseh 49